MEXICO - Real Estate & Construction
Managing Director, FICADE
Mauricio Suárez founded FICADE in 2013 and has served as CEO since its foundation. Between 2006 and 2013 he worked at SARE Mexican developer, performing various activities in different areas of the company. He is an industrial engineer graduated from Universidad Iberoamericana and holds a degree in corporate finance from ITAM, international business from Harvard, and a master’s in promotion of real estate projects from Universidad Anahuac del Norte.
In line with changes in housing purchases and its institutional structure, FICADE is undergoing a transformation process to become more resilient and structured as an organization.
What projects are most in demand in the residential sector and why?
We have been through complex times, though today we are seeing a recovery. The most dynamic sectors continue to be those with lower budgets, generally under MXN 2.5 million per tenement. In Mexico City, due to the price of land, it is difficult to have such prices, and people generally have to look at the outskirts or in nearby towns to find anything under MXN2 million. That is the most dynamic sector, however, and the others are not at their best levels yet, even if partially recuperated. People’s home purchase decisions were postponed during these uncertain times. These needs are still present in society, but there is a high level of uncertainty in people’s lives. Some have decided to rent, which is a niche that will develop in more profound ways in the coming years. It is currently a niche and business model that is worth viewing for solutions and has different financial considerations for household purchases. In more developed countries, the rental market has a much higher market share, while in Mexico, it is a new market to explore and develop different business models and niches to serve incoming demand. Housing demand will explode somewhere in the near future, and we need to be ready for when that happens.
What is your strategy at FICADE, and how are you preparing for evolving market activity?
Right now, we are in a restructuring process. We are designing FICADE’s future mainly for two reasons: the changes in housing purchases and our founding partner and main shareholder is no longer part of our group. There has been a huge change in our structure and decision-making processes. This year will be about reformulating our strategy and business models. We are putting together a board of directors for a much more institutional mission. I would like to build FICADE into an institutional company, and the housing sector is not accustomed to such a vision since they are generally family businesses. We are setting our goals toward utility and profitability. The healthiest vision is to always orient toward profitability instead of growth and keep the whole organization’s focus on efficiency and improving processes. I am not that interested in size; my focus is more on efficiency. With regards to high-quality products, it is not only about the niche of luxury but also high quality under MXN3 million.
How have your new constructions focused on ESG and sustainability?
FICADE counts on three different types of certifications. One is called Edge and is endorsed by the World Bank. It is directly related to everything LEED. We were the first company to be granted this certification in Mexico City with our Revolution project. We currently have the two projects of Skypark—Amores and San Lorenzo. This certification helps us save on resources such as water, electricity, and construction materials, and everything related to the construction process has to be sustainable. Also, the end customer will enjoy benefits in their apartment’s operation costs. Skypark also counts on parks on their rooftops. We are constantly looking for sustainable schemes and mechanisms that will allow us to remain at the forefront. We are the first company with the Edge certificate in Mexico City, and we will remain active in this search for sustainability, which is an extremely important standard in today’s companies.
What are your predictions for the Mexican real estate market?
We are extremely excited, even if today’s environment has not positioned Mexico as the most attractive market for investors. We trust in Mexico and want to keep on contributing in everything related to investments. I support the idea of finding new opportunities. As an entrepreneur, the ability to adapt to any challenge that may arise is of extreme importance and always bears fruit.
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